A breakthrough in wireless charging could result in the death of costly battery-powered wireless sensors, researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) said on Wednesday.
Used in the health industry as well as agricultural sectors such as viniculture and farming to monitor conditions, wireless sensors are often battery-powered, but the ANU research found it was possible to replace costly batteries with energy harvested from “solar or ambient radio frequency sources,” such as cell phone stations.
The ANU believes any communication delays between the towers and the vital sensors would typically be limited to less than a few hundred milliseconds.
ANU lead researcher Dr Salman Durrani said the breakthrough could not only spell the end for battery replacement, it could also begin research into using cell phone towers and communication towers to charge other wireless devices.
“A major problem hindering the widespread deployment of wireless sensor networks is the need to periodically replace batteries,” Durrani said in a statement on Wednesday.
“If we can use energy harvesting to solve the battery replacement problem for wireless sensors, we can implement long-lasting monitoring devices for health, agriculture, mining, wildlife and critical national infrastructure,which will improve the quality of life.”
According to Durrani, wireless sensors for “buildings, biomedical applications or wildlife monitoring systems” would benefit greatly from the breakthrough, as vital time and money would not be spent in changing batteries.
Though the identification of communication towers as a feasible option for wireless charging was a step forward, Durrani said it would still be some time before the technology is created to make it possible, reports Xinhua , Canberra.